Senator (R) Javed Jabbar gave a talk on ‘Indi-Pakistan Relations – Future Known and Unknown’ at CMC. Mr. Jabbar observed that the Pakistan-India relationship is the most complex bilateral relationship. There are no two other nations in the entire world with this kind of multilayered complexities as found between India and Pakistan. The people, he said, have a long history together and yet there are great differences among them. He said the people of both countries are driven by a hysterical media and they are also restrained by their mindsets.
Talking about the future, Javed Jabbar said it was a future unknown because what would happen in India after May 2019 is not known. But he said that whatever the result, there will be calibrated de-escalation so that no one loses face. He said the process had already begun. He said there will be third party mediation which is already taking place but will not be acknowledged by both sides. He also said there will be a resumption of Track II diplomacy and there will be more back channel discussions.
With respect to the future of Pakistan-India relations, Mr. Javed Jabbar said that this was within the control of people of both countries but they needed to foster a psyche and an attitude about the other country. He said the two countries needed to be sure about how they deployed their armed forces and if India chose to deploy 70 to 80 percent of its forces near Pakistan’s borders, then Pakistan would not able to do anything about it and the onus would fairly and squarely lie on the shoulders of India.
Mr. Jabbar felt that non-use of nuclear weapons was a given and neither country could afford to use their nuclear weapons as this meant mutually assured destruction. But he did say that Pakistan could not commit itself to no first use because of the asymmetrical position in conventional military strengths of both countries. He thought that movement towards dispute settlement was essential.